Six men arrested over last week's Melbourne gun shop heist
After a week of victim blaming from Gun Control Australia, Six men - all in their teens or early 20s and described as members of a "Middle Eastern crime syndicate" have been arrested over last week's armed robbery at a gun shop in Melbourne's north.
Sam Lee used the opportunity that came with the theft to push an agenda of stricter storage requirements: “POLICE should urgently check how Victorian gun dealers are storing firearms"
Daniel Young of the SFFP pointed out, the greatest security in the world would be negated by a gun to the victims’ head. This is what happened at O’Reillys and even happened on an Australian Navy ship in Darwin were firearms were stolen from the ship’s armoury.
The Age reported, Police investigating the heist at Frank O'Reilly's Sports in Thornbury made several arrests in the past 24 hours, beginning with a broad-daylight arrest at a Docklands apartment involving the Special Operations Group on Monday.
Police had feared the stolen guns - 37 in total - would be sold on the black market but they now believe all the missing firearms were recovered in the Docklands apartment.
Police found the handguns during the Docklands raid, with two men - aged 18 and 20 - arrested after trying to evade police through the underground car park of the Collins Street building.
Mr Fontana said on Tuesday morning that police had worked ‘‘day and night’’ in their investigation, which he described as a ‘‘hard slog’’.
‘‘They are a group that are certainly known to us and are probably involved in a whole range of activity,’’ he said.
The guns were intended for sale domestically to other crime gangs.
Mr Fontana said he expected more charges would be laid, with police interviewing the other four men on Tuesday morning.
Police described it as a great outcome and are relieved none of the guns made it to the street.
Special Operations Group police surrounded the block at 889 Collins Street about 2.30pm on Monday.
Officers armed with machine guns, a chainsaw and a battering ram raided the Docklands apartment.
They removed several bags of evidence and seizing a damaged white Audi SQ 5 hatchback.
Mr Wellington questioned calls to further improve security at gun stores after Premier Daniel Andrews said the state government would listen to any suggestions from Victoria Police about how to make them harder targets.
"It's hard to know what more could be done," he said.
While the guns stolen from Thornbury retailed for between $700 and $1900 each, they could fetch more than $10,000 a piece on the black market.
Weapons that are "clean" – sold with guarantees they have not been used in previous crimes – are even more valuable, underworld sources said.
Assistant Police Commissioner Steve Fontana said it was inevitable the guns would end up on the black market.
"They knew what they were looking for, so this wasn't just an opportunist type of offence," he told Radio 3AW.